Research team

Investigators

Rieseberg and Burke are international leaders in plant evolutionary genomics, with expertise in genetic mapping, QTL analyses, GWAS, genome assembly, population genomics, bioinformatics, and various reverse genetic approaches. Donovan is a leading expert in plant ecophysiology, especially adaptation to drought, salt, and low nutrient stress. Langlade has expertise in high throughput phenotyping, gene network analyses, and molecular physiology, especially in relation to drought stress. Yeaman is a rising star in population genetic theory, population genomics, and bioinformatics, with latter skill set developed as part of the Genome Canada-funded AdapTree project. Hulke has expertise in marker-assisted and genomic selection, as well as flood stress phenotyping. The GE3LS team PIs, Marden and Ramankutty, have complementary expertise relating to the Treaty/sharing of agricultural data and land use, respectively. As mentioned above, Marden’s expertise in these areas was developed in part during the Genome Canada-funded Genomics of Sunflower project. Ramankutty is an international leader in global land use change and its implications and brings expertise in crop yield modeling to the project.

Collaborators

Bill May is a Canadian agronomist with expertise in phenotyping, breeding, and economic model development. Bali provides expertise in irrigation and drought stress management, whereas Andrade is an agricultural engineer with expertise in high throughput phenotyping (HTP). Laura Marek runs the USDA’s sunflower germplasm collection and brings expertise in the collection and management of wild sunflower germplasm. Parrott is a world leader in the implementation of genome editing approaches, especially in soybean, and Kubach manages a highly skilled team of software engineers at SAP who are developing bioinformatics tools for plant genomics. Our other collaborators, who are also end users, bring expertise in sunflower population development and both conventional and molecular breeding approaches to the project.

Research Expertise

Dr. Loren Rieseberg

Project Leader, Professor & CRC Tier 1, Department of Botany, U. British Columbia

Rieseberg is leading overall project and is lead on Activity 4 (functional analyses). Past experience in managing large genomics projects. Pioneer in plant ecological genomics.

Dr. John Burke

Co-Project Leader, Professor, Department of Plant Biology, U. of Georgia

Burke is the co-project leader and is lead on Activity 1.2 (association mapping). Expert on sunflower genetics & genomics.

Dr. Lisa Donovan

Head & Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Biology, U. Georgia

Leads phenotyping of stress resistance traits (Activities 1.1 and 1.3). Expert on plant ecophysiology.

Dr. Nicolas Langlade

Senior Researcher, INRA Toulouse, France

Leads transcriptomics component & Heliaphen phenotyping (Activities 1.4 and1.5). Expert on sunflower molecular physiology.

Dr. Emily Marden

Research Associate & Lead of Intellectual Property and Policy Research Group, School of Law, U. British Columbia

Leads GE3LS component on barriers to R&D caused by international treaties (Activity 6). Expert in CBD, Treaty & sharing of genomics data.

Dr. Brent Hulke

Research Geneticist, USDA ARS Fargo, ND

Leads MAGIC population development.

Dr. Sam Yeaman

AIHS/CAIP Chair in computational evolutionary biology (start date: 8/15), U. Calgary

Will lead population genomics component of project (Activity 2). Expert in population genomics & bioinformatics.

Dr. Navin Ramankutty

Professor & CRC Tier 1, Liu Institute, U. British Columbia

Expert on global land use, especially in relation to agriculture. Will lead GE3LS component on crop yield modeling (Activity 5).

Dr. Marie Coque

Sunflower Project Lead, Biogemma

Contributes to MAGIC population development & will deploy resistance alleles in breeding program. Strong track record in molecular breeding.

Dr. Silke Wieckhorst

Project Lead for molecular breeding in sunflower, KWS Seeds

Contributes to MAGIC population development & deploys resistance alleles in breeding program. Strong track record in molecular breeding.

Dr. Andrés Zambelli

Biotechnology Manager, Advanta Semillas SAIC

Contributes to MAGIC population development & will deploy resistance alleles in breeding program. Strong track record in molecular breeding.

Dr. Bill May

Crop Management Agronomist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Contributes to field-based salt tolerance phenotyping, economic modeling & will deploy resistance alleles in breeding program. Strong track record in agronomy.

Dr. Walter Anyanga

Research Officer, National Semi-arid Resources Research Institute, Uganda

Contributes to field-based low-nutrient-stress phenotyping & deploys resistance alleles in breeding program. Strong track record in sunflower breeding.

Dr. Jim Gerdes

Global R&D Director for Sunflower Breeding, NuSeed Americas

Contributes to MAGIC population development & evaluation & deploys resistance alleles in breeding program. Strong track record in molecular breeding.

Dr. Laura Marek

Oil Seeds Crops Curator, USDAARS

Contributes to collection and distribution of sunflower germplasm.

Dr. Pedro Andrade-Sanchez

Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, U. Arizona

Adapting field-based HTP approaches to sunflower. Expert in agricultural engineering.

Dr. Khaled Bal

Irrigation Advisor & Interim Director, DREC

Will contribute to drought stress phenotyping at DREC. Expert in water use management.

Dr. Wayne Parrott

Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences, U. Georgia

Conducting genome editing in soybean. Expert in crop biotechnology.

Dr. Timo Kubach

Vice President, Portfolio & New Business | Product & Innovation, SAP AG, Germany

Coordinates SAP effort to develop data analytic tools for plant genomics, using sunflower as model.